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Egyptian cuisine offers food that's mostly grown or available in Egypt. The food here is a culinary adventure and a real taste treat. Egyptians in Egypt eat really well and nutritious. Meat is normally roasted or grilled, whole or ground, and the main meat choices are chicken and lamb. There are a lot of cows, but mostly they are used to help out on the farms.
Meat served on skewers, known as shish kabob style, is very popular and served with tomato salad and greens, tahini sauce, and pita bread. The bread in Egypt is always whole wheat pita, which is covered in coarse ground wheat and tastes great hot from the oven. It can be served with a sauce for dipping, tahini, hummus, or baba ganoush (mashed eggplant dish) with olive oil and spices.
Eggplant Salad (Baba Ganoush)
A traditional kind of salad has chopped tomatoes, coriander, mint, and small hot green peppers, which are similar to jalapenos and onions, all coated with garlic oil. Other vegetables that are included in this cuisine are beans—mostly fava and chickpeas. These kinds of beans are usually eaten stewed, even for breakfast. They are ground into a paste for making hummus and tahini with lots of garlic included. Egyptians also use mashed eggplant in their moussaka along with a mild white cheese. In other dishes, you’ll find potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, and okra, which are often stewed along with tomatoes and garlic. Rice can be found served for breakfast as well, mixing short basmati rice with the longer brown rice.
A special kind of delicacy is grilled pigeons and you can have fish from the Red Sea like tuna and perch, which are served fried, but not oily. Egyptian pasta dishes are a tasty treat combining ingredients such as macaroni with white rice and lentils.
You can find many different spices in Egyptian bazaars such as yellow saffron and a variety of curries. The food is always full of spice, but not spicy. In restaurants, you’ll find salt and cumin at the table. Desserts usually include dates, figs, and nuts filled in an unsweetened dough. It is far better to eat fresh figs, dates, oranges, and pomegranates. You can find juice bars on the streets and freshly squeezed orange juice that comes sweetened with cut sugar cane.
Since Egypt is a Muslim country, there is no alcohol and if it can be bought by tourists it is very expensive. However, you can have a local beer known as Stella, which is mild, but doesn’t have a heavy beer taste and it is sold in very large bottles so you can quench your thirst in the hot desert climate.
Delicious Street Food in Cairo, Egypt
The food you’ll find on the street is the same food that the locals eat every day. You can be sure it is made of the finest ingredients and it will give you an authentic taste of this amazing city. Many of the delicacies are traditionally vegetarian. They will also help you keep within your budget.
Ful is made of fava beans, which have been mixed with various Egyptian spices and served in a pita bread. If you like, an egg can be added. This hearty dish is eaten by many locals at breakfast. Many eat it in combination with taameya, a kind of falafel with fava beans. These can be found at nearly every street vendor.
Koshari is a dish made of a combination of rice, macaroni or spaghetti, lentils, and chickpeas. It is the national dish of Egypt. This is all covered with a spicy tomato sauce. If you prefer, some vendors let you add some vinegar sauce for added flavor. There are some koshari shops as well. This is one of the most traditional street foods in Egypt.
Taameya is an Egyptian falafel that is made with fava beans instead of chickpeas. This is also a common breakfast food in the city. It can be eaten at any time of the day. It is quite a filling dish and was first created as an alternative food to eat during Ramadan.
A really tasty treat is kofta kebabs, the street version of Egyptian kofta that's made with either goat or lamb meatballs. Kofta kebabs are made with minced goat or lamb combined with spices and onions. Then put on skewers and grilled. You can get a skewer from a street vendor and eat it right away.
Egyptian pancakes called feteer are made with many layers of thin, phyllo-like dough. They can be filled with either a sweet or savory filling. If you choose sweet then they can be layered with icing sugar. The savory versions have different toppings, similar to pizza, and are then grilled.
An Egyptian dish similar to the Turkish Iahmacun pizza is called hawashi. It is made with minced meat, onions, and chilies and put between two layers of Arabic bread dough. It is then roasted in a wooden oven and sliced to make it easier to eat. You can have a slice on the go.